PROJECT AGREEMENT FOR THE GRIFFITH IRON ORE REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN ONTARIO

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PREAMBLE

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEA Agency) has commenced an environmental assessment (EA) pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) for Northern Iron Corporation’s (the Proponent) Griffith Iron Ore Redevelopment Mine (the Project).

The proposed project consists of the redevelopment, including construction, operation and decommissioning of a past-producing open pit iron ore mine. The proposed project would produce approximately 16,000 tonnes of ore per day, with a mine life of approximately 20 years. The iron ore would be milled on-site to produce slightly more than 4,000 tonnes per day of hot briquetted iron.

The CEA Agency and the Ontario Ministry of Environment have agreed to coordinate the federal and provincial EAs to the extent possible pursuant to the Canada-Ontario Agreement on Environmental Assessment Cooperation.

Nothing in this Project Agreement (the Agreement) fetters the powers, statutory authorities and functions of federal departments/agencies and their respective Ministers.

The signatories to this Agreement (the Parties) commit to work together to facilitate an effective, accountable, transparent, timely and predictable federal review in relation to the proposed project and to contribute to fulfilling the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal groups.

1.0 PURPOSE

The purpose of this document is to provide detailed information pertaining to the federal review process where the CEA Agency is the responsible authority during the EA. For further information regarding the federal review process, please refer to The Federal Review Process for Major Projects: Project Agreement Companion Document (PDF, 144 KB).

2.0 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The following federal departments and agencies have identified an interest in the Project, and will participate in the federal review:

  • Responsible authority: The CEA Agency will ensure that an EA is conducted, an EA Report is prepared and that an EA Decision Statement is issued;
  • Federal authorities (FAs):  Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Transport Canada (TC), Health Canada (HC), Environment Canada (EC), Canadian Transportation Agency may be in possession of specialist or expert information or knowledge with respect to the Project;
  • Regulatory departments: DFO and TC may have regulatory and statutory duties in relation to the Project;
  • Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada has advisory responsibilities in relation to the Project to support consistency with the Government of Canada’s Whole of Government approach to Aboriginal consultation activities; and,
  • The Major Projects Management Office will provide oversight and advice throughout the entire federal review in relation to the Project to ensure adherence to the service standards and roles and responsibilities of all Parties as described in the Agreement and the Companion Document.

3.0 Aboriginal Consultation

The Parties are committed to a Whole of Government approach to Aboriginal consultation that is integrated with the EA and regulatory process, to the extent possible. For more information on the Whole of Government approach, including roles and responsibilities of departments and agencies, as well as coordination during the project review, please refer to Annex I of the Companion Document.

Where applicable, the terms and conditions of all existing agreements or protocols and/or MOUs between the Crown and Aboriginal groups will be respected.

4.0 TIMELINES

Timelines identified in the Agreement represent the time expected to be taken by federal departments and agencies in carrying out their respective tasks. The timelines do not account for time taken by the Proponent to collect information or undertake a study at the request of the CEA Agency during the EA or regulatory departments during the regulatory phase. The target timelines for the federal review are as follows:

  1. Completion of the EA, as per CEAA 2012 – 365 days from the posting of the Notice of Commencement (NoC) on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry Internet Site (CEARIS) to the Minister of the Environment's (the Minister) EA Decision Statement about whether the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
  2. Regulatory decisions pursuant to the Fisheries Act and Navigable Waters Protection Act  – 90 days from the Minister’s EA Decision Statement posted on the CEARIS, assuming submission of all applications no later than the time of the submission of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
  3. Regulatory decision pursuant to the Canadian Transportation Act — 120 days from the submission of a complete application to the CTA.
  4. Regulatory decision pursuant to the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations – 8 months from the Minister’s EA Decision Statement posted on the CEARIS. The timeline may be reduced to 6 months if Treasury Board is satisfied that the Conditions for Exemption have been met (see the Companion Document for additional information).
  5. If appropriate, issue an Order in Council (OIC) exemption under s.23 of the NWPA – 11.5 months from the Minister’s EA Decision Statement posted on the CEARIS.

5.0 SIGNATORIES

The Parties hereto have signed the Agreement, in counterpart, on the dates indicated below.

Original signed by                                                                   October 2, 2013
Serge P. Dupont                                                                    Date
Deputy Minister                                                                     
Natural Resources Canada

 

Original signed by                                                                   October 8, 2013
Ron Hallman                                                                         Date
President                                                                    
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

 

Original signed by                                                                   October 8, 2013
Matthew King                                                                        Date
Deputy Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

 

Original signed by                                                                   October 16, 2013
Marie Lemay                                                                         Date
Associate Deputy Minister
Infrastructure Canada
(on behalf of Louis Lévesque
Deputy Minister, Transport Canada)

 

Original signed by                                                                   October 16, 2013
Bob Hamilton                                                                         Date
Deputy Minister
Environment Canada

 

Original signed by                                                                   October 10, 2013
Michael Wernick                                                                     Date
Deputy Minister
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

 

Original signed by                                                                   October 10, 2013
Geoffrey Hare                                                                         Date
President
Canadian Transportation Agency

Annex I

Key Milestones and Service Standards for the Environmental Assessment and Aboriginal Consultation

  Milestone Lead Support As Needed Timeline/ Completion Date
1 Post the Notice of Commencement (NoC) on the CEARIS CEA Agency FAs April 29, 2013
2 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the draft EIS Guidelines CEA Agency FAs April 29th, 2013 to May 29th, 2013
3 Finalize the EIS Guidelines and provide to the Proponent CEA Agency FAs June 24th, 2013
4 Submit the EIS and EIS Summary Proponent CEA Agency, FAs To be determined by the Proponent
5 Review of the EIS to ensure the requirements of the EIS Guidelines are met CEA Agency FAs Day 56-86 (31 Days)
6 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the EIS summary CEA Agency FAs Day 87 – 116 (30 days)
7 Federal review and provision of comments on the EIS to the Proponent CEA Agency FAs Day 87-131 (45 Days)
8 Submit revised EIS or additional information, as appropriate Proponent CEA Agency, FAs To be determined by the Proponent
9 Review the revised EIS or additional information, as appropriate CEA Agency FAs Day 132-161 (30 Days)
10 Prepare the draft Environmental Assessment Report (EAR) CEA Agency FAs Day 162-215 (54 Days)
11 Federal review and provision of comments on the draft EAR to the CEA Agency FAs   Day 216-245 (30 Days)
12 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the draft EAR CEA Agency FAs Day 216-245 (30 Days)
13 Finalize the EAR and submit to the Minister CEA Agency FAs Day 246-305 (60 Days)
14 Issue the EA Decision Statement Minister CEA Agency Day 306-365 (60 Days)
15 Post the Minister’s EA Decision Statement on the CEARIS CEA Agency   Day 366-372 (7 Days)

Annex II

Gantt Chart: Target Timelines for the EAFootnote 1

[Larger image - Gantt Chart: Target Timelines for the EA]


Gantt Chart: Target Timelines for the Regulatory PhaseFootnote 2

[Large image - Gantt Chart: Target Timelines for the Regulatory Phase]


Gantt Chart: Target Timelines for the Regulatory Phase (Continue)

[Large image - Gantt Chart: Target Timelines for the Regulatory Phase (Continued)]